San Diego, CA (PRWEB) December 19, 2013
According to a recent survey conducted by iContact, 15 percent of a typical small business’s marketing budget is spent on email marketing, with 56 percent of survey respondents planning to boost spending on this marketing strategy in 2013 and beyond.
“Since everyone uses email, it’s easy to assume we’re all email experts and therefore email marketing should be easy to do,” says Jeremy Durant, Business Principal at Bop Design, a San Diego web design agency. “This assumption has tripped up many small businesses, whose hopeful communications get snagged by spam filters or completely ignored by the would-be audience. Either way, email marketing done incorrectly can cost a lot in terms of your time and money.”
To make the most of email marketing efforts, small businesses should avoid these common mistakes:
Send email messages without permission. “Don’t purchase any big email lists filled with addresses of people who don’t know – or care about – your business,” Durant says. “Whether you like it or not, emails sent to recipients who never asked for them are spam and nothing more.”
The only way email marketing will work is by asking potential prospects for permission to share information. Send a personalized message inviting customers to opt-in, making sure to include wording like this: “With your consent, we will send exclusive offers, coupons and details about upcoming specials.” People who consent to receiving emails will then know exactly what they’re getting.
Overlook segmenting your list. “One-size-fits-all” is not a winning principle with email marketing. To whatever extent possible, every email message should feel like a personal communication to the recipient. To customize a list, arrange the contacts in terms of:
On average, segmented customers have a higher click-through rate than those subjected to the dreaded “email blast.”
Failure to format correctly or optimize for images. A large segment of customers have images disabled on their email systems, meaning they won’t see any important information you choose to contain in an image (such as a call-to-action). Consult an expert for optimization tactics that ensure your email message gets seen in its proper format.
Send non-mobile-friendly emails. Increasingly, email recipients scan email messages on their mobile devices. But formats and design elements that are perfectly acceptable on a laptop—such as multi-column layouts for text—fail miserably when viewed on an iPhone, Android or BlackBerry. Before anything else happens, your email must first be legible and easy to view. Do some tests to make certain people can read your emails while on the move.
Neglect the importance of your email content. “Pay close attention to what you write, focusing on the value you can provide,” Durant advises. “Remember to make content easy to scan, using bullet points, short paragraphs, boldface for emphasis, etc. Also, check and double-check the message before sending it out. Nothing damages your credibility more than an email rife with typos, misspellings and bad grammar.”
Fail to include a call-to-action. What should email recipients do after reading the message? Click on a link to open a newsletter, download a white paper, read a new blog post? Every email message must include a call-to-action (clearly worded and easy to find) or all marketing efforts will be wasted.
“Email marketing remains one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing for small businesses,” Durant says. “To get the best results, build a strategy around serving your customers and nurturing relationships so that when they make the decision to buy, you’ll be at the top of their list.”
Bop Design is a San Diego marketing agency with offices also in Orange County, CA and the New York metro area. Specializing in B2B marketing, Bop Design creates holistic marketing plans geared toward lead generation and business development. Bop Design offers services in branding, logo design, website design and development, responsive web design, SEO, PPC, social media, and content marketing. http://www.bopdesign.com.